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Mansfield Lake Ridge High School's Eagle Media Website

Eagle Media

Mansfield Lake Ridge High School's Eagle Media Website

Eagle Media

Mansfield Lake Ridge High School's Eagle Media Website

Eagle Media

A Love of Languages

A+Love+of+Languages

Languages are a core feature of any culture. They let people express themselves and describe the world around them. Many people in America only speak one or two languages, but some shoot far past those numbers. Melissa Mohler, Spanish 2 teacher, is one of these people, with her fluent knowledge of English, Spanish, Korean, Hindi, Urdu, and Thai Vietnamese. 

Mohler’s interest in languages first started when she was a young child in a diverse neighborhood. 

“I grew up with neighbors from different places, so I was kind of wondering why did my neighbor speak Spanish or Punjabi, and I don’t speak anything else.  I would go over to their house and I would be exposed to different foods and songs and things and we just didn’t have that second culture within the home,” said Mohler.

Consuming media in a different language, whether it be movies, TV shows, or music, is an effective way to learn a new language. Mohler finds consuming international media to be fun and good practice.

“Movies and music are excellent segues into language to see what kind of languages and culture you’re interested in understanding. So with Korean, it was Korean dramas and Kpop, and then for Hindi and Urdu it was Bollywood films and so there’s always some sort of entertainment segue that helps you get that exposure to the language,” said Mohler.

Obtaining true fluency in a second language is a difficult task. Mohler believes that you can always improve your knowledge in any language. 

“We’re always trying to strive for fluency. Even though you’re fluent enough to have conversations, you can always learn more. Even in our mother tongue, English, we can always learn additional vocabulary by reading,” said Mohler.

Language holds an immense amount of importance to a person’s sense of self and culture as it dictates how people interact with the world around them. Mohler finds herself becoming a different version of herself when she speaks different languages.

“The fewer languages you know, or if you’re monolingual, you don’t have that concept of the rest of the world. Knowing another language helps you understand the culture and helps you understand that people think about things in different ways depending on their language. Whenever I speak a different language I take on essentially a different persona, whether I mean to or not,” said Mohler.

Mohler teaches Spanish 2 because she hopes to impart her love of language and culture to her students.

“It’s something that I love and I want to convey my love and interest in languages, and hopefully transfer that to my students,” said Mohler. “When you’re teaching something that you love, it’s hopefully infectious. I just also want to expand upon my student’s worldview, and, even if they don’t utilize Spanish every day, they’ll at least value that.” 

However, Mohler doesn’t teach just for her love of languages. She also wishes to make learning a new language fun for her students.

“I have been asked why I didn’t become a translator. I’ve just always wanted to become a teacher. I just love school and learning and, as a lifelong learner myself, I want to show my students that learning a language doesn’t have to be burdensome, it doesn’t have to be a chore. You can make it fun,” said Mohler.

Mohler’s love of language, culture, and teaching has shaped her into the beloved Spanish 2 teacher she is today. She believes that learning about new cultures and languages is important for a student as it expands upon their worldview. She hopes to make learning as enjoyable as possible for her students, so they may enjoy cultures the same way she does.

About the Contributor
Apollo Anders
Apollo Anders, ENN Staff